The complexity of the causes of back pain and the considerable interaction of body and psyche play a major role in its treatment. Drug therapy or even surgical therapy can, under certain circumstances, eliminate the cause of the pain, and yet affected individuals continue to suffer, as if from an old habit of pain. Therefore, it is important that the patient actively participates in the elimination of back pain.
Preventive measures also count as therapy. With exercise, you ensure that the affected region is sufficiently supplied with blood. Activity is, despite initial overcoming, the first step to recovery. In some cases, the complaints are based on an acute inflammation. If so, application of cold may be advisable. If in doubt, just try it out. You can treat yourself with various measures:
In collaboration with our colleagues in neurosurgery and traumatology, we have established the Spine Center at the University Hospital of Zurich. This center provides the ideal framework for the interdisciplinary evaluation and care of patients with complex back pain. Within the cooperation framework of the two surgical clinics, patients can be quickly and specifically referred to surgical therapy if indicated. On the other hand, back patients who do not qualify for a surgical approach can be quickly and easily referred to an interventional pain treatment or a multimodal, rheumatological complex treatment at the Clinic for Rheumatology.
Medical treatment aims to relieve the symptoms, find and eliminate the causes of back pain, and to prevent the pain from becoming chronic. This is because constant pain runs the risk of developing what is known as pain memory, in which the body perceives pain even though the original cause has already been eliminated. We prescribe anti-inflammatory and analgesic medications and may order various therapeutic measures. These include:
Rarely, surgical interventions are necessary – for example, to repair a herniated disc. Before we advise you to do so, we will discuss with you how you can try to get your back problems under control by changing your lifestyle through more exercise, targeted exercises and reducing excess weight.
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